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Nixon saw value in associating with Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin and other talk-show hosts, papers show

January 11, 2010 |  1:26 pm

New papers from Richard Nixon released today by the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda show the former president was suspicious of some entertainers and artists -- but saw political advantages of being friendly with talk-show hosts such as Johnny Carson.

The papers show Nixon criticizing modern art and agonizing about whether to invite potential critics for White House visits.

But according to a review of the papers by the Associated Press, Nixon had warmer feelings about television talk-show hosts:

 He put aside his own tastes when he saw political advantage, however, as in a January 1970 memo about TV talk-show hosts.

“I would like to invite, even though I don’t like most of these people, Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas,” Nixon wrote. “This could pay off in great measure to us.”

-- Shelby Grad